Career Story: Physical Therapist For A Home Care Agency

Physical Therapist For A Home Care Agency

Job Title: Physical Therapist

Type of Company: I work for a home care agency that provides nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and home health aide services in the patient's home.

Education: BS, Exercise Physiology, UMass-Lowell •• MS, Physical Therapy, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I worked 3 years as a physical therapist in an acute care setting. I provided physical therapy in the intensive care unit and to post-surgical patients.

Job Tasks: I work for a home care agency providing physical therapy to patients in the home setting. This can include homes, apartments and assisted living facilities. The majority of the patients I work with have been recently discharged from a hospital or rehab facility.

My responsibilities as a therapist are to evaluate a person's safety in their home environment and recommend any equipment they might benefit from. I also assess their strength, balance and walking to develop an exercise and treatment plan to improve their function so they can return to their previous activities.

One unique aspect of working as a physical therapist in home care is that you are also a case manager. As case manager you are responsible for the supervision of home health aides and physical therapy assistants. I also need to ensure that the patient's medications are correct and that they understand how and when to take them.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: One of the best parts of working as a physical therapist is the freedom it affords me. I enjoy managing my own schedule. It's also great to work with a patient population that is able, with the benefit of therapy, to return to its previous activities. I also like working with occupational therapists and nurses.

One challenge in home care is how isolating it can be. I often feel that I am on my own and miss the collaboration with colleagues. Also, the regulatory paperwork can be very time-consuming, taking me away from treatment time with my patients.

Job Tips: High school students should take as many science courses as possible to build the strong science background necessary for the job. High school or college students should consider working as an aide in a PT clinic to see if this is the type of work they would like.

A recent graduate of PT school might consider practicing in different settings (such as hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, or outpatient clinic) early in his career. This will help him determine which area he'd would like to zero in on. Many hospitals or acute care settings also offer out-patient clinics for their patients where a budding a physical therapist can split his time, learning about both areas while working for the same employer.

Lastly, after beginning your career it is still important to continue your education through seminars and courses that will provide you with the opportunity to learn about emerging treatments for specific conditions.

Popular Schools offering Physical Therapy Assisting Programs

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Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

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  • Degrees: Master

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

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Fremont College
Los Angeles

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: AA - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Degrees: Associate

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online, Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online
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Work toward your degree online with University of Cincinnati Online.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Bachelor

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy
  • Degrees: Diploma

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

  • Programs: Relaxation Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma
National Holistic Institute
Emeryville, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Studio City

At National Holistic Institute, our history and network of relationships in the field continue to help our graduates succeed. With campuses across California, we offer a comprehensive massage therapy training program that prepares our graduates for a successful career in massage therapy. Whether you are looking to start your career or take it to the next level, NHI has a program for you.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Respiratory Therapy
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate
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